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News and Information

STATEMENT ON FDA APPROVAL FOR IRRADIATION OF MEAT FOR PATHOGEN CONTROL
DECEMBER 2, 1997

by
Catherine Woteki
USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety

The Food and Drug Administration’s rule on irradiation of meat recognizes the safety and effectiveness of irradiation in reducing pathogens in meat products. USDA established the standards for the use of irradiation in poultry in 1992 following FDA’s similar approval for poultry.

USDA has worked closely with FDA in the approval process for irradiation of meat to facilitate the rapid completion of an USDA rule that spells out the procedures plants would be required to follow to irradiate meat, including ground beef. USDA’s proposed rule will also address descriptive labeling for irradiated meat products.

USDA places a high priority on the preparation of a final rule for the irradiation of meat to reduce pathogens.

In addition to new USDA requirements for sanitation in slaughter and processing plants and procedures that will prevent foodborne hazards, USDA views irradiation as another weapon in the fight against pathogens that can contaminate raw meat and poultry.

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For Further Information, Contact:
FSIS Congressional and Public Affairs Staff
Phone: (202) 720-9113
Fax: (202) 690-0460

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